My work considers questions such as: How do the abstract component gestures of a phonological segment vary in their dynamical control as a function of phrasal structure? How do the structured surface variations guide listener perception and play a potential role in sound change? How are acoustic and articulatory prosodic signatures shaped by the language-specific phonological system? How is accommodation between conversing individuals related to prosodically salient positions? I pursue this work in the domain of F0 and articulation through empirical experimentation using laboratory techniques including electromagnetic articulography (EMA), real-time magnetic resonance imaging (rtMRI), and response mouse-tracking methods. I place an importance on data-driven computational modeling to further a unified, coherent account of suprasegmental and word- and phrase-level speech production.
Dissertation: The Prosodic Substrate of Consonant and Tone Dynamics
In my dissertation [.pdf], I employed a dynamic approach to relating consonant and tone by examining the segmental and tonal sensitivity to phrasal prosodic structure in a language with specified (i.e., relatively rigid) intonational patterns. To tackle the intricacies of segment/prosody interaction, I look at intonation patterns in the contemporary Seoul dialect of Korean. Given the segmental tone (i.e., F0) contrast for LAX versus TENSE stops, the convolution of these stops with the language’s strict Accentual Phrase (AP) tonal pattern provides a test bed for examining the co-expression of segmental and prosodic tonal specifications. In addition to clarifying the phonetic description needed for new pronunciation norms of younger generations speakers of this language, this work establishes how the local phonetic organization of a system of contrast is modulated as a function of phrasal positions by uncovering the tone gestures deployed for segmental "tenseness" and how these interact with the language's AP intonational patterning. Taken together, these results uncover an intricate tone pattern in which local segmental information is co-expressed with phrasal information and shows that dynamical modeling has the ability to account for how both categorical and gradient aspects of tone realization and how a prosodically asymmetric pattern emerges from a single underlying system. (Associated Work: Lee, Goldstein & Byrd, in preparation, talk at the LSA 2019, talk at the LSA 2020; Oh & Lee, 2018, 2020)
Prosodic Structuring in Spoken Language
In empirical work separate from the dissertation, I have examined other aspects of prosodic structuring in spoken language.
Speech Accommodation in Dyadic Interaction
A second arm of my research program is the study of the cognitive control of interactional spoken language behavior. Specifically, I examine the adaptive accommodation behaviors in pairs of interacting speakers.